Assuming responsibility for personal growth

In this blog, I wanted to post someone else’s blog! A bit unusual I know but it’s written by a young man from South Africa who has just left home to travel through India. For those of us who are older than Yuval, who is 18, our journey of learning started many years ago and I wonder if some of us (and equally some of those we employ) have lost focus on what we really want to learn or need to learn for the next stage of our lives, so I decided to share his post. I hope you enjoy the read.

Yuval’s Journey

To Soft Landings and New Beginnings


The first sentence of any truly great piece of writing is imperative to set the tone of the work, so I thought I’d begin with a little phrase that sums up the goal of my trip through India. I got it from Emerson originally, but since the memorable night that I first read his essays, it’s taken on new meaning for me.

When you embark on a life-long journey to live with absolute sincerity, you begin to realize that the greatest force for change in your life, productive or not, is yourself. And I don’t mean that in the same sense that it’s used in a book you might find in the self-help section. I mean it more in the sense that your circumstances are determined primarily by your own state of mind and behaviour.

Despite everything, it is a good time to be alive by all accounts. Our political and industrial structures allow us to live in relative comfort. Our ancestors experienced intensely difficult conditions, and were required to invest hours each day just to secure their next meal. Evolution of knowledge and understanding, as well as evolution of our physical capabilities, was an absolute necessity. Today, we are able to enjoy the fruits of their labour, and the labour of their successors over the centuries. Such luxuries as super-markets and permanent shelter are now considered basic human rights. For instance, I was born with the infrastructure in place, not only to fly across the world, but to reserve a seat on said flight through a network that gives you access to almost any information you could possibly desire, called the internet.
So I guess my point is that if you want to evolve nowadays, you must assume personal responsibility for your growth. Evolution is no longer predicated on the environment in which one lives. No pressure, no diamonds, as they say.

In order to live this philosophy, I decided to take a leap into the unknown and travel through the great, chaotic, and beautiful mess of India, with nothing but a guitar and an (albeit overpacked) 65 liter backpack.

Right now, I’m emotionally raw. I’ve just left behind the safety, comfort and support of a home that I’ve lived in and parents that have raised me for 18 years. I’ve left behind friends and an identity that I established for myself. But I will persevere in hopes that I’ll find the meaning that I seek. I have a faint suspicion that it will take a journey through heaven, hell and everything between to show me that what I am looking for is within me already. Intellectually I know this, but I still have to experience it.

So for now, I say goodbye to my old reality. Here’s hoping I’ll return having learnt much, and seen much, and be equipped with tools to live the life I dream of.

Posted on February 28, 2016

It’s interesting that I spent just a few hours one day in November last year chatting to Yuval. I can’t remember the last time I learnt so much and was so inspired by someone in just a short space of time. Most of us start each week still clinging to the roller coaster that tipped us upside down last week. It’s an ongoing saga of chaos, survival and ‘busy being busy’. Yuval is taking time out to see the world outside his four walls. I expect many of us would love to be doing the same, if only we hadn’t grown to be so reliant on those four walls that appear to assure our security and safety .

Yuval is taking time out to see the world outside his four walls. I expect many of us would love to be doing the same if only we hadn’t grown to be so reliant on those four walls that appear to assure our security and safety.

I hope you all have a great week and if you like what Yuval has written, why not use the above link to follow him during his travels. I guarantee you will be inspired by what he writes.

Leave your comment